This species occurs in mature wet forest in the southern highlands of Costa Rica. At Wilson Botanical Gardens it occurs in a variety of plant species, nesting in live stems. I found a large aggregation of workers in the terminal two internodes of a Cecropia insignis sapling. A nest in a 2–3m tall Ocotea contained only workers, brood, and males, even though I entirely dissected the tree. A 10m tall Guarea rhopalocarpa tree contained a colony scattered in live stems throughout the crown. All the shoot tips contained cavities excavated by beetle larvae prior to entrance by ants. Many of the branches contained alate queens. The nests contained Pseudococcidae on the inner stem walls. (Longino 2006)
- 1 Identification
- 2 Distribution
- 3 Biology
- 4 Castes
- 5 Nomenclature
- 6 References
- 7 References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics
Longino (2006) - Worker with antenna 9-segmented, maxillary palpus 6-segmented, color yellow orange. Queen with orange head, HW 1.28–1.36mm. Male with pygostyles present, basiparamere lobes and parameres very long and thin, digitus broadening apically to paddle-shaped apex.
Keys including this Species
- Key to Myrmelachista males of Costa Rica
- Key to Myrmelachista queens of Costa Rica
- Key to Myrmelachista workers of Costa Rica
Costa Rica. Southern highlands, at Wilson Botanical Gardens near San Vito and at Las Alturas.
Latitudinal Distribution Pattern
Latitudinal Range: -8.783333333° to -8.916666667°.
- Source: AntMaps
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.
Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.
- meganaranja. Myrmelachista meganaranja Longino, 2006a: 36, figs. 1, 6, 12, 13 (w.q.m.) COSTA RICA.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
HL 0.830–0.970, HW 0.824–0.991, SL 0.457–0.527, EL 0.149–0.159, CI 99–102 (n=5).
Antenna 9-segmented; maxillary palpus 6-segmented; dorsal surface of mandible coarsely punctatorugose; clypeus and face smooth and shining; in full face view, with abundant short subdecumbent setae projecting from rear margin and sides of head; ventral surface of head with abundant short subdecumbent setae, occasional longer setae; scapes with abundant erect to subdecumbent setae, longer setae subequal to width of scape; outer surface of hind tibia with abundant subdecumbent short setae, occasional longer erect setae about 2/3 width of tibia; color uniformly orange.
HL 1.450–1.509, HW 1.277–1.358, SL 0.646–0.673, EL 0.315–0.326, OW 0.092–0.094, OD 0.185–0.203, CI 88–90, OI 24–25, OcI 6–6 (n=2).
Antenna 9-segmented; maxillary palpus 6-segmented; labrum short, bilobed, not covering mouthparts; dorsal surface of mandible with dense, large, piligerous puncta; face and clypeus smooth and shining, with some larger puncta on anterior malar spaces; in full face view, with abundant short subdecumbent setae projecting from rear margin and sides of head; ventral surface of head with abundant somewhat longer appressed to suberect setae; scapes with abundant erect to suberect setae, longer setae subequal to width of scape; outer surface of hind tibia with abundant erect to subdecumbent setae, longer setae about 1/2 to 2/3 width of tibia; color orange with infuscated bands on gastral terga.
Antenna 10-segmented; maxillary palpus 6-segmented; pygostyles small but present, distinctly sclerotized, setose; basiparamere lobe and paramere very elongate, thin; cuspis a thin spiniform processed fused to inner surface of paramere, distant from digitus; digitus elongate, paddle-shaped, broadening distally; apodeme of penial valve curving into dorsal margin at obtuse angle; ocelli relatively large.
Holotype alate queen: Costa Rica, Prov. Puntarenas, Wilson Botanical Garden, 4km S San Vito, 8°47’N, 82°58’W, 1200m, 23 Mar 1990 (J. Longino#2623) Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, specimen code JTLC000006225.
Paratypes: workers and queens, from same nest as holotype, specimen codes JTLC000006226-JTLC000006230, distributed to Museum of Comparative Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, University of California, Davis, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, The Natural History Museum.
The name refers to the large size and orange coloration of the workers.
- Longino, J.T. 2006a. A taxonomic review of the genus Myrmelachista in Costa Rica. Zootaxa. 1141:1-54.
References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics
- Longino J. T. 2006. A taxonomic review of the genus Myrmelachista (hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica. Zootaxa 1141: 1-54